Page:The Irish in Australia.djvu/288

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Irish nationality, and eloquently advocating the claims of every philanthropic movement that was originated in the old land of his birth. As one of the founders and first members of the St. Patrick's Society, he was the moving spirit in organising one of the strongest and most representative bodies of Irishmen in the world. His thoughtful, racy speeches at the banquets that have been regularly held by that society for many years past in St. Patrick's Hall on the evening of the national anniversary, have a high educational value for his countrymen, and would, if collected, form an appreciable addition to our already rich stores of Irish oratory. Of his services to Catholicity, and the great cause of Catholic education many pages might be written, but it will suffice to summarise them in the words of the Rev. Thomas Cahill, S.J., as spoken, in the presence of an immense and sorrowing audience, over the mortal remains of Sir John O'Shanassy as they lay in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, on the morning of May 7, 1883: "I deem it unnecessary to speak of his career as a politician, as a legislator, as at times the head of the government in this colony. His name and his merits are well known, and throughout his whole career not only his friends who agreed with him, but those who differed with him, found a man faithful in all things, faithful to his principles. But it is when I think of him as a Catholic that the words, 'Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life,' are in a more marked manner verified. When I look back, to the past I see him, as I heard him sometimes describe himself, standing on the spot where now stands St. Francis' Church, forming one of a congregation of three, when for the first time the Holy Sacrifice was offered in Melbourne. I see him bear the banner of St. Patrick's Society, as was his